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Scene Title Everyday
Synopsis Two old friends reunite by random chance. There are also two Evolved, two racial minorities, two obstinate bigots, and two people with food from Piccoli's Delicatessen. (Yes, this actually adds up to three.) The reunion degenerates into a rant which gathers an audience, but really, this sort of thing happens all the time.
Date March 5, 2009

Outside Piccoli's Delicatessen, Little Italy

Piccoli's wasn't always the busiest — there were other places, some cheaper, some more expensive, depending on a person's taste. Renee was not picky about her palate, or where her next dollar was coming from. Not with bills to pay off, which is why she often worked extra hours, extra jobs to make just enough to not have collectors come to smash her kneecaps. The first to arrive and the last to leave, Renee slips out the door of the deli, exhaling into the cool air and sliding her hands into her jacket pockets, a bag of just enough food to squeak through the week looped over her arm.

One person emerges from Piccoli's, another person is arriving. This one, five feet three inches tall and clad for the job she left when five o' clock came, is very non-traditional in how she gets around the city. Maria is fifty feet above ground, moving at twenty-five miles per hour. She descends slowly to touch solid pavement just outside the delicatessen, looking entirely like she just did the most commonplace thing in the world. Her messenger bag is adjusted, and one foot moves forward, her eyes upon the door and mind upon delicious sandwiches.

Like Renee, Kayla set aside being picky two years ago, when that luxury simply became too expensive — both in terms of monetary cost and with respect to opportunities lost. This is reflected perhaps most of all in her clothes, well-worn and inexpensive to begin with, multiple layers her answer to winter's chill rather than a coat over all. Gloved hands tucked loosely in her pockets, the young woman walks down the street with no readily apparent destination — just one more person making her way along, head down and attention somewhere other than on her present surroundings. …It's not like Kayla has to worry about pickpockets.

Unless those pickpockets were interested in lint, maybe. Renee is just turning away from the door in time to …did Maria just.. nah, must be Renee's imagination. "I hope you're not going in there for turkey — we're cleaned out of it tonight." She warns in advance, studying the newly arrived girl with an apologetic smile — albeit one that errs on the side of wary, just in case it wasn't her imagination. Because what would the odds be that she would run into a freak of nature after all this time of hearing about them, but not seeing them up close.

"Delivery guy is supposed to show up later tonight with a new batch though, so you can try back then." She adds. She actually almost misses the other girl passing through, who gets another stare, though for an entirely different reason. Familiar face. Name name, remember the name.. "Ah-Ka.. uh..Kayla?" She'll be embarassed if she's wrong, that's for sure.

She may well be familiar, her face having been in newspapers some time before in connection with helping police and fire personnel rescue a child from a burning building. Maria had even been photographed carrying the girl toward a waiting EMT, fully airborne. She gives the two only a passing glance as she opens the door and steps through. Yes. Soon there will be food in hand.

Outside of Jefferson, she is rarely addressed; in the city at large, Kayla is but one of the faceless many, her evident lack of means enough to keep the majority of New York's citizens at bay. The scowl is automatic, upon hearing the invocation of her name. When Kayla actually looks at the speaker, it disappears in a moment's surprised recognition. She takes in coat, scarf, and hat with a flicker of gray eyes — and then it comes back. Along with relevant memories. "…Ren."

Renee lifts an eyebrow slightly as Maria passes by, tongue to the roof of her mouth. Huh. The young Brazilian turns away again, "«My God»," She murmurs, in Portuguese, smile slow to find its way on her face. "You're a sight for sore eyes. It's been a while." Her smile wavers, a shadow passing over her face as she recalls even a fraction of the events that passed. And then she looks at Kayla, really looks.

She… Renee shifts her weight uneasily, "I didn't know you were in town." But then, leaving required money, and money was something that people like Kayla and Ren didn't exactly have. Her smile vanishes completely, as she casts a brief glance towards the deli where Maria went inside, and then looks back to Kayla. "Are… you okay?" It's a stupid question to ask, but decorum demands getting polite small talk out of the way. But Kayla didn't behave the way Renee remembered her college-friend, and frankly, she couldn't blame her if it was for the reason she thought it was.

Given that she lived and worked in Midtown prior to the bomb, that could also be phrased I didn't know you were alive. Folding her arms, Kayla snorts softly. "Your eyes will really get sore if you keep staring." She fails to echo the other woman's smile; prickly and hostile, Kayla is everything Renata doesn't remember about her. "I figured you died, like everyone else," she continues. The obligatory polite query is met with a sardonic twist of her lips. "Hazard a guess." Another flicker of gray eyes. "…But it's good you're doing well," Kayla allows, her voice a little softer, presenting less of the bulwark sharp-edged words can make. Sincere. Well might be an overstatement in absolute terms — but Renata is visibly better-off than Kayla, and that's the key point.

The tone, the mannerisms, the complete flip-over of personality. All of it evidence to just how rough a time Kayla has been having. Of course, Ren's life hasn't been sparkles, daisies and puppydogs either— but it seemed the two girls were dealing with the trauma in their lives differently. Kayla's behavior change was external. Ren's was internal. Even so, it was very strange to see such a drastic difference in the other girl. Meanwhile, she hadn't wanted to just come right out and say, 'I thought you were dead' like Kayla did, "…mm,.. as you can see.." She gestures with her free hand, in an 'I'm not' manner.

"Sorry about the staring," she adds quietly, glancing away, "I just.. couldn't believe my eyes for a minute there." She still can't. She gives a short little 'heh' at the 'doing well'. "Not exactly what I'd call it," she glances at the Deli. So many plans, she had. "But I'm alive. That's good enough." ..for now. "…What are you doing around here anyway? Live in the area..?"

"Clearly," Kayla agrees, with regard to 'not yet dead'. She also looks away, down the street… in some sense, anywhere but at Renee, for the moment. Quiet, pensive, as she tries to fit this new revelation in with the old news. It doesn't exactly fit. "No. Up in Harlem." Pride wars with the desire to see Ren's reaction to the truth; pride wins. Kayla doesn't specify where. "I was just out walking." A fair distance to walk, but she doesn't have anything better to do. The healer nods towards the deli. "You have a job," she points out acerbicly. "A lot of people would call that 'doing well'."

She doesn't see much of what she makes, unfortunately. Sometimes she doesn't even get the extra cash for food. "S'a matter of perspective," the dark skinned girl replies. "..I'd give it up in a minute if.." The bomb didn't happen. Her dad didn't die. Her mom didn't —.. sigh. "So, Harlem?" Must be charming. "That's good." That she had a place to stay, even if it wasn't all that…good.

It's..admittedly a touch awkward, tiptoeing around the matter of things they went through, had to deal with and were now dealing with, post-bomb. "Nice day for a walk though," she adds feebly. At least there were still some nice parts of the city to walk through.

The door opens, Maria passing back through it to the street with bag marked Piccoli's in hand. She places this carefully into her messenger bag and shifts that around to her back. Eyes rest on the conversing women only briefly as she moves a few steps away and faces west. Then her feet leave the ground, she slowly begins rising toward an altitude of fifty feet. There's no hurry about her doing so; she aims not to cause an air disturbance from use of unnecessary swiftness.

Much as the way she arrived, there's the air about her of this being the most ordinary thing in the world.

If. Kayla looks askance at Renee, as if to say 'you're still dwelling on that word?' "I guess," she replies, watching Maria step out of the deli for sake of distraction from the awkward and sullen conversation. Only to have Maria begin to levitate. Gray eyes narrow and Kayla's face sets, surprise at the open use of an ability quickly supplanted by distaste. If Renata doesn't see Maria on her own, the shift in Kayla's focus ought to draw her attention to the flier.

Yes, yes she is. Renee is a master of dwelling on things. Dwelling is all Renee ever does. There's a brief grin at the glance she's passed, unable to shake the oddness of the total change in Kayla's personality. Not that it was unexpected, but.. yeah. She's at a loss, tryin to think of something less awkward to discuss when Kayla's shift in focus gets her attention, and the dark skinned girl follows the glance.

Immediately her eyes narrow, and she makes a noise of disgust low in her throat. It's audible, though it could be misinterpreted for a simple throat clearing or even a cough, were it not for the pronounced spit onto the side walk. Immediately her awkwardly friendly manner does a 180, her expression closing off with the exception of pure hatred. "One of them? Here? «Disgusting.»" She growls at the sight of the freak lifting into the air. Habit causes her to speckle her insult with Portuguese, and she looks towards Kayla briefly.

The distaste is recognized, interpreted as just as much hatred for the godless cockroaches that wormed their way into the city. "You didn't touch anything did you?" She calls up to the Evolved girl. "Coming down here, using a deli that normal people frequent. The last thing the city needs is more contamination by your kind." Another spit, as she glowers up at Maria. "FILTH."

Mutants go home! Mutants go - wait, wrong script, sorry.

Her attention drifts back Kayla-wards, mood cooler and her voice with an acerbic tinge, "They're like roaches, scuttling about. Freaks, the entire lot of them." Most people use their inside voice. Renee has no such thing, and wields her degree in bigotry like a weapon. "I suppose I'll have to suggest to the boss that we sterilize the place now." She adds, looking back to Maria with an expression like she just smelled something bad.

She was rising into the air. But now she isn't. The diminutive one settles onto the pavement and eyes Renee calmly. Maria lifts one hand to her mouth and mimes the covering of a yawn. Her back is straight, the head held high, and her demeanor that of someone with a military or police background. "Is there a problem, Miss?" she asks in a completely calm tone that doesn't quite match the fiery flare to her eyes.

Someday, the truth will be out and Kayla will be called a hypocrite. But she doesn't have to like what she is. Doesn't have to like Evolved in general. Even as she notes the additional reason to keep Renee at arm's length. The healer watches the flier with a sullen, distasteful expression; she, however, isn't so rabid in her dislike, and settles for stiff silence. The sidestep she takes provides an additional small bit of distance between her and both of the other women, not accidentally.

Renee is full of wage, and not the monetary kind. And when and if Renee ever finds out that her friend was an Evolved, she would be horrified, and wonder what kind of contamination she'd been exposed to. "Yeah. Actually. There is." Renee retorts flatly, as Maria turns her attention to Renee. "You're the problem. You and every other freak running loose in the city. Like you have a right to be around normal people like us," she points over at Kayla, pauses when the girl isn't in the exact spot she was a moment ago, and checks her point. There. Right there. See, perfectly normal, All American, Kayla right over there. Pointing aside, Renee's disgust is such that she's mostly watching Maria. "You things don't belong in the city, and if not for you animals, the city wouldn't be as badly off as it is. Good Job." She adds, notably not getting physical.

"Oh." Maria's tone is calm, even, and laced with sarcasm. "Yes, Miss, I'm sorry for not committing suicide when I got swept off the side of a cliff and didn't fall. I apologize for breathing your air, and for not ramming myself into a huge rock at high speed, headfirst." She doesn't move, not one step is taken, nor does the woman stop watching the angry one she's faced with. Alert eyes scan Renee's frame from head to toe for signs of concealed weapons which might be brought into play here.

Inwardly, she's having a monologue. Don't back down. You served in the Navy honorably, no one has any right to speak to you this way. All minorities have had to face this, the only way things changed was because the courageous among them refused to back down, or strike back.

"I'm sorry I put my pants on in the morning one leg at a time, and sorry I need to eat just like anyone else."

"Awww," Renee coos, "I'm sorry too. Sorry I don't have the world's tiniest violin to play for you and your drama. You think I give a," indecipherable word goes here as Renee practically spits it — almost physically to boot, and that would just be ewgross for the girl approaching. Plus it's not even in English. And odds are it was a word that shouldn't be repeated in polite company. "About it? Maybe you should have committed suicide — go on," she flicks a hand, "Shoo, go jump off a cliff and make the world a bit safer for normal people. And then let the rest of you things follow suit. Go Die, go be locked away forever, «What the -fck ever-»." The more she speaks, the angrier she gets - made all the worse because Maria is so freaking calm. And the angrier she gets, the less English she speaks. What right did she have to be calm? To act like she had the same rights as anyone else? Pff. If there's anything she was raised to believe, it was that people that were different like her (Hypocrisy, Table for 1, Renee?), didn't deserve rights. Especially when they had freakish abilities that could wipe out almost half the city.

She just watches the angry one, Kayla's presence not paid much attention to at the moment. Roger Goodman, when they met, claimed the era of ethnic prejudices was over. Maria would dispute that, to her mind such things over skin tone still occur. Or at the very least aren't so far in the past as anyone like her, Roger, or Renee here would've forgotten. It doesn't matter to her in the least that some will say she could pass for white. She isn't white.

"It's sad you think so, Miss. Not so long ago, you'd have been spoken to like that just for your skin tone, and threatened with beatings, or murder, for daring to stand up for yourself."

She's tempted, she really is, to make the mocking comment that jumping off a cliff is boring for a woman like herself. But she doesn't. Maria has at least that much restraint.

Dat's it. Renee snarls silently at the response from the girl, as her hackles are proverbially up. "SHUT! UP!" Is belowed from the small Brazillian, fairly shaking with rage, hands clenching. "The day I get preached at by some freak—" is about as far as she gets before she proceeds to spit epithets, curses, insults and one or two actual words at the other girl. The gist of it, for anyone who can understand the language, isn't pretty but amounts to, 'I would sooner slit my own throat before I would stand here and be preached at by something not even worthy of being stepped on, and I'm not an idiot like the sort of people who would break the law — ohay, like the moron that went KABOOM — and she certainly doesn't have to explain any of that to Maria. No SIR.

A tiny, tiny, insignificant and often ignored part of herself pipes up briefly at the back of her head. 'She has a point..'

The tiny voice is promptly beaten senseless by her blind rage. It is mourned, buried, and Renee eventually winds down, whether or not Maria decided to stand there and be ranted at in a totally other language. Either way, Renee is flushed and out of breath, not to mention hoarse when she finally runs out of words. For the moment.

Maria lifts one hand to her mouth and mimes covering a yawn again, not speaking while Renee rants. She looks bored after that action, her posture still displaying that military or police background. "Yes," the woman replies calmly. "I'm such a dangerous, useless freak I gave four years serving in the Navy as an officer, and am so freaky I hold down a decent job, work nine to five each day like most people, pay my own way in the world. Yes, you should totally hate me, Miss, for being a decent citizen who can fly, and likes being who she is."

The confrontation is attracting an audience; the audience makes Kayla distinctly uncomfortable. Everyone's keeping a reasonable distance — so far — but… their definition of reasonable and hers don't agree. Plus, she has a long ways to go before actually arriving back home. "Ren'." Kayla is not completely impolite, even if she avoids looking at Maria. "I need to go home." Now she glances, briefly, at the flier, a narrow flicker of gray eyes; back to Renata. "Take care of yourself."

Renee curls her lip sightly, "How nice for you," she sneers, in a tone that indicates that it isn't very nice at all. "That you have such a decent job and are so proud of being a freak, when good and decent people have to struggle because of your kind. Ugh, I can't stand the sight of a .." Wow, she can't even pick a word to adequately describe her disgust. But no matter, because Kayla is getting Renee's attention, and the girl looks over, temper cooling almost immediately. "Yea," she agrees with a hefty sigh, "Be safe getting home. You never know when one of those things," she jerks a thumb at Maria, "Might pop up again." She smiles slightly, "I'm out of here too, but it was good seeing you again, Kayla." Even if there was an Evolved creep to ruin the already awkward reunion. It's a crime, A CRIME that Maria shared the same air with them. Sad.

She stays where she is. Maria just watches the two, intending to remain in place until they're gone. It's important, to her, to be the one who didn't leave. Didn't turn away. Someday, maybe, the mocha-skinned one will remember her own heritage, think about stuff she was taught in history class. If, that is, she isn't the sort who never paid attention and dropped out. Or got kicked out. Eventually, after the pair are gone, she looks around at the audience and quips in a quiet voice.

"You'd think a flying woman wasn't something seen every day."

Then she lifts off and departs the way she came. Airborne.

March 5th: It's A Deal
March 5th: Lying by Omission
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